What is Website Localization?
Many businesses desire to reach a global audience and translation service websites are no exception. A challenge arises when the existing site doesn’t reflect the language and culture of the target audience. Adapting such a website to meet these two needs easily solves the problem. This adaptation goes beyond translating the wording of the website. It needs to consider the dialect of the local language. Other considerations include:
- Images that the clients can identify with. This includes color codes, photos and graphics.
- Site design that reflects the lifestyle of the target clients
- Audio-visual and other multimedia content.
In this way, people in that market find the site natural because it reflects their local values. This is important because not all people understand English and so marketing efforts done in the language may not achieve the expected results in all markets.
Benefits of Website Localization
- It helps companies reach a global marketplace with a message about their products in a way that the target audience understands. It makes people speaking the major languages of the world such as Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, German, Portuguese and French, go through the localized site without misunderstanding the content.
- It gives the website credibility in the eyes of the local people. The local customers feel that the website is ‘speaking’ with them rather than at them. This makes it easier for your message to reach their heart and prompt them to take your desired action. This also gives the impression that your business is a global entity and that adds authority to it.
- It increases revenue. With the language barrier removed, website localization opens up a large market in different parts of the worlds. This means a big potential for new customers with diverse needs. Considering that more than 45% of the world population uses the internet, it is not a wonder that more companies have a website localization marketing strategy already in place. Many of those who don’t are already planning to introduce it. Improved income follows effective localization of specific areas of the website such as:
- Service solution pages
- Landing pages
- Public relations and news pages
- Events pages
- Marketing articles or blogs
- Content from the users of the website (feedback, comments, testimonials and other ways)
- The increasing migration of people to the more economically and politically stable countries has also created a need for further website localization. The immigrants are more likely to appreciate marketing efforts done in a language that they understand and one that reflects their culture. This creates more business locally for a company that has implemented website localization.
- Website localization avoids being a put-off to potential customers due to the way they interpret the information on the site. For example, while an image of a cow or a pig may be referring to beef or bacon to a typical Westerner, the same would probably be interpreted as holy or unclean symbol to a Hindu or Moslem resident of India and Middle East respectively.
Effective website localization needs go beyond the use of sophisticated translation software. It must involve language and culture experts in both source and target languages. This helps to achieve the intended site’s purpose.